How to maximize your health benefits this year

We all know that health insurance is a significant monthly expense. But it’s worth the cost, as it enables access to the care you need and reduces your risk of medical debt. 

Here’s how to make sure you get the most for your money this year.

1. Don’t skip preventive care. You may have access to an annual physical, vaccines and screenings at no cost before meeting your deductible. Preventive care can keep potentially serious health problems at bay.

2. Stay in network. It takes some research up front, but you could save hundreds or thousands of dollars by choosing providers your insurer has negotiated the best rates with. 

3. Know the lingo. A deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before the insurance company starts paying a percentage of your bills. After meeting your annual deductible, you may also be responsible for coinsurance, or a percentage of your bill.

4. Try mail-order prescriptions. For long-term medications such as antidepressants or cholesterol drugs, buying a 90-day supply from your insurer’s preferred mail-order pharmacy may offer big savings. 

5. Fund your HSA. If you have a high-deductible health plan, you can add money to a health savings account that offers tax savings. Max out your contributions if possible: You can use the money in the future and it doesn’t “expire” like FSA funds do.

6. Review bills carefully for errors. Request an itemized bill if your provider doesn’t give you one and hire a medical billing advocate if you think there may be a mistake.

7. Take advantage of insurance discounts. You may earn lower premiums for completing workouts while wearing a fitness tracker, getting regular checkups and more.

Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to keeping yourself and your wallet healthy. Have questions? Reach out anytime.